05/21/14 People of Gunja: Rescue Our Animals!

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Red Alert! Association Victories and Animal Friends demand urgent evacuation of all animal survivors

- Hundreds of exhausted animals are still waiting to be rescued in abandoned and flooded houses

The volunteers of the NGOs Victories, Animals Friends and other animal protection organizations, as well as many individual citizens, call for urgent evacuation of animal survivors from the flooded town of Gunja, as well as all other settlements in Slavonia affected by the floods. There are reports of dogs barking on balconies and in closed houses, and there are still hundreds of living companion and domestic animals in the critically affected area. Our volunteers have been helping and accommodating animals for days after the rescuing actions.

The animals are hungry, thirsty, exhausted, helpless, and left alone to die. The evacuated people from Gunja leave information about their animals on websites and social media, as they were not allowed to take them along, and they are begging the authorities in charge to let them enter their houses and rescue their animals. Those animals must and can be saved and not left behind dying in fear and agony.

Animal Friends and other animal protection organizations receive numerous calls from citizens who are willing to accommodate the rescued animals, temporarily or permanently. The NGOs offer their help in taking care of the animals, asking the military, the police, the divers, and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service to help and cooperate in order to save all animals left in the flooded areas, making it possible for the evacuated people to reunite with the animal members of their families. These animals’ lives now depend on urgent action.

Animal Friends invited everyone to contact the institutions in charge, demanding that the action of rescuing animals should be continued until all surviving animals have been saved. Besides companion animals, one should also rescue the "domestic" animals, which are aimlessly wandering about or have remained enclosed in stables. We also demand that they should be rescued and homed, given that the minister of agriculture, Tihomir Jakovina, has decided that these animals should be slaughtered.

The Croatian government and other authorities in charge should not allow this shameful indifference as to the suffering of animals in the region affected by the flooding. Besides causing immense human suffering, the disaster has taken a large number of animal lives. Croatia showed competence when it united in helping the human victims, and now the institutions in charge should make a civilized and ethical decision in allowing the volunteers to help the animals. Just as they do not hesitate about helping other people, the citizens of Croatia are willing to help the animals, which depend on our empathy in this great tragedy.

Besides collecting aid for animals, Animal Friends is also involved in collecting donations for human survivors who have been left without anything, and rescuing their animals would mean a lot to them in these difficult times. Volunteers in Slavonia primarily need transporters for animals, cages for large dogs, muzzles and leashes, as well as temporary accommodation. Everyone who can offer help in the form of transportation, temporary accommodation, volunteering, expertise, or donations in food and other goods is welcome to apply at www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr.



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